Halloween in salem, massachusetts
We moved to Salem from Seattle a few days before Halloween in 2006 with little understanding of what we were arriving into. Truth is, we had very little concept of anything related to it so that first year and the years following were kind of surprising. While witches, monsters, ghosts and hauntings are part of the bread and butter of this town, officially, the holiday is celebrated throughout the month of October. A time when this relatively small town of a little over 40,000 swells to over 100,000, streets are overrun with a sea of faces. Each year the crowds get a little larger over a longer period of time, particularly if the weather is mild and as recent years have been unseasonably warm and dry, the crowds have been record-breaking and overwhelming. As an ongoing documentary, the images I look for are ones that strike me as oddly human, expressive and gestural. It's hard to escape the costumes and now, the cell phone cameras - as they often exaggerate and distract what catches my attention. These alongside unusual views in Salem and the transient elements - the performers, signs, spaces and elements.